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that came to hear benedict's second to last weekly blessing. >> being jewish i did not think it would be that big of a deal but it was moving to see it. see all of the people who supported him. >> reporter: cardinals around the world are starting to gather here at the vatican. they will hold a farewell ceremony with the pope and then set a date for the gathering called the congave to elect his successor. >> reporter: he is the first pope to retire in 600 years. >> it raises questions because now we have a press death precedent in modern times. >> some think it is an opportunity to update the catholic church. >> the church has been conservative until now and maybe a younger person, although i respect him totally as pope, but i think they need some young people. >> reporter: the pope says he will live in a monstare inside of vatican city after he steps down. -- monistary inside of the vatican city after he steps down. >>> getting to them. early. >>> it was fun while it lasts but now the mild weather is history. i will place the timing of the r
. >> reporter: pope benedict delivered his final blessing to tens of thousands from his apartment overlooking saint peters square. between rounds of applause and emotional prayers -- >> i had some tears from my eyes. >> reporter: the holy father said he is not abandoning the church. he is retiring to spend his final years in prayer. the 85-year-old is stepping down on thursday. the first pope to do so in 600 years. >> you can feel it is something special among the people here. >> reporter: cardinals from around the world are arriving in rome to elect the next pope. what is normally a delicate transition has been interrupted by morale tkpwaeugs of scandal. >> italian media is reporting that the pope decided to resign after learning that a secret room of gay priests were being blackmailed. >> reporter: closed door vatican discussions about the allegations. the church calls the report false. >> it is focused on scandals in the church. again some, have been very, very real. nobody is denying them. the focus only goes to that we are deflected t
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